It’s been over eight years since Heath Ledger died from an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs, just a few months after wrapping up his harrowing, award-winning role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
The 28-year-old Australian native was found face down in his New York City apartment after overdosing on a cornucopia of drugs consisting of oxycodone, diazepam, hydrocodone and doxylamine.
The late actor’s father, Kim, has recently spoken up about the ominous details leading up to his son’s death, in an attempt to warn others of the dangers of painkillers, which is reportedly becoming a growing public health issue in Australia.
According to Daily Mail, the 66-year-old Kim Ledger placed full blame on his son for his demise, and even revealed that Heath was warned of the dangers of mixing painkillers and sleeping pills by his sister.
‘It was totally his fault. It was no one else’s – he reached for them. He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation.
‘That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him,’ Mr Ledger said.
‘His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets.
‘He said: “Katie, Katie, I’m fine. I know what I’m doing.” He would have had no idea.’
Kim claims that his son was first turned on to prescription drugs to keep up with his grueling filming schedule.
‘Because he was travelling a lot, he would pop in to a doctor. In the case of someone with a higher profile it’s often a case of “what do you want” instead of “what do you need”.
‘There’s so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it’s not good and needs time, it’s like “just take these painkillers and keep going”.
‘That was the case with Heath. He had to be back on set to finish (the next day).
‘They were doing night shoots in the freezing cold and he had a weak chest anyway. He’d caught this (cough) and just couldn’t shake it but he thought he had to because he wanted to get the movie done.’
Ledger’s abuse of highly addictive opiates coupled with the dark road Ledger explored in preparation for his iconic Joker role proved to be too much for the 28-year-old to endure. It’s no consolation, but at the very least Ledger left the world with one with one of the most gripping on-screen performances ever. And that won’t die anytime soon.
[h/t Daily Mail]